Planning granted for temporary school in Haggerston

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Council’s ambitious schools building programme is a step closer to being realised, after proposals for a temporary school in Haggerston were granted planning permission.

From September 2017, the temporary school will house the City Academy Shoreditch Park, before its permanent site is built. The high-quality buildings will be mostly built off-site, before being put in place on the former parks depot, at Audrey Street – the site of Bridge Academy’s former temporary building.

By 2021 Hackney needs an additional 1,650 secondary school places – equivalent to two new schools. The temporary school is part of wider plans to ensure there are high quality local school places for Hackney children. When the school moves into its permanent site in 2020, a second school will use the temporary building until 2022.

The paved area sits within the boundary of Haggerston Park, but has not been open for public use for many years. After being used as a depot by the Council’s parks team, it housed a temporary school for a year in 2007. Since then it has been used by Hackney BMX Club as storage space and by a growing club, who keep a number of raised beds there. Alternative locations have been found for both groups.

When the schools have left the site, the Council has pledged to turn the land into a publicly accessible part of the park, and will fully consult and involve residents on how they would like to see it being used.

Construction of the new school will begin early in the New Year. The footprint of the building will fit in the footprint of the existing hard-standing area and will be a mix of three and four storeys high.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble said: “This is a really important step in our wider plans to ensure we can provide high quality school places for our children in Hackney. It would be simpler to allow central government to open free schools which do not reflect our borough’s needs. Instead, we’ve decided to tackle head on the challenges that a rapidly growing population and highly successful local education system bring. By working with the City of London Academy Trust, we can provide the state of the art secondary schools our residents expect and our young people deserve.

“These non-selective schools will enable us to ensure our children do not have to travel out of the borough to go to school, and can benefit from the remarkable achievements of Hackney’s schools, which see us constantly topping league tables. We are top in the country for progress at GCSE level; top for reading, writing and maths at Key Stage One and in the top five nationally at Key Stage Two. These are phenomenal results, and we want to make sure that future generations of Hackney residents benefit from this too.

“This temporary site is going to be absolutely key in helping us to deliver the rest of the school building programme and I look forward to welcoming the first students to use it.”

Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of the Education Board at the City of London Corporation said: "The City of London Corporation is committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities for children and young people.

“We welcome the news that the temporary site for Shoreditch Park has been approved and will continue to work closely with Hackney Council in providing a new secondary academy that delivers outstanding education."A consultation on options for developing the Britannia Leisure Centre site, including the proposed City Academy Shoreditch Park, will open ‪on 5 December.